The Road to Bitcoin
As anyone who’s been active on Twitter over the last few months, one might have come across something called the Lightning Network challenge, which was an internet challenge created to bring attention to the Lightning Network.
The challenge involved sending the smallest divisible amount of bitcoin to another user, who then added the same amount and passed it on to another user. Participants in the challenge included the CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey and an octogenarian.
The network has since reached another milestone as it was announced on April 23, 2019, that the first alpha version of the Lightning Network client for Bitcoin’s mainnet has gone live. This comes roughly a year after the first transaction and Lightning Network took place by BitMari.
In a blog post by the management of the Lightning Network, it was explained that this version is mainly for testers and developers who are looking to experiment with it. It is, however, not functional for most users and people have been advised not to put any funds into the application that they are not willing to potentially lose.
In essence, this is merely a test and should not be treated as a fully functional network for crypto transactions.
The current version is supported by macOS, Windows, and Linux. However, there are plans to release a mobile version at some point in the future. The team also stated that mainnet iOS and Android apps will be coming soon.
As for some of the benefits of the network, Lightning Labs stated that it will ensure privacy and security for users, of which are core values to the crypto community. In line with this, the company intends to release a non-custodial crime solution.
“Scaling Bitcoin and Lightning to everyone means not requiring people to follow complex setup processes or hand over control of their funds to trusted counterparties,” the post says.
This solution makes use of the Neutrino bitcoin light client and allows for the use of the LN scalability solution but does not require the downloading of the entire blockchain and also maintains control of the funds in question.